Avoid Data Plan With No Contract Phone?

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  1. zillurd

    zillurd Member

    I was wondering if I can avoid paying for a data plan on AT&T if I buy the no contract version of the HTC Inspire? I know I cannot do certain things without Wifi, but I'm always around it so that's not a problem. I was also wondering if all I would have to do is buy the no contract device and put my SIM in it and be ready to go?


  2. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor Guide

    Just remember to turn off the packet data. What you're suggesting is actually the norm in my country. People here usually get no contract phones and just put their old sims into it.
  3. lrv

    lrv Well-Known Member

    The data plan is attached to the phone, not the contract, therefore when you try and activate a smartphone, it's going to require that you add a data plan.
  4. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor Guide

    No its not if you buy it contract free. Or basically unsubsidized. I always buy phones that way, and that is the norm in my country too. When you turn on the phone to activate your Google account, all you need is a wifi connection. I know several Android owners who dont have data plans and use their phones on pay as you go service and their only source of internet is wifi. In my country, several people own iPhones, Androids and BBs with no data plans whatsoever. Such services arent common here. In fact in my class of 96 people, I'm the only person with a data plan on my phone. (other people have USB data dongles, mostly pay as you go though, with a few on data plans for such devices, but not on phones).
  5. zillurd

    zillurd Member

    Are you sure it works like that in the states?
  6. zuben el genub

    zuben el genub Well-Known Member

    I just checked with an ATT store for grins, and even if you own a TMO phone and switch to ATT and their plans, they are going to make you get data even if the phone can't use it. (I asked about an unlocked European Galaxy 3) ATT does detect the phone by IMEI.
    If you have that type of plan with TMO, and ATT honors contracts for a long time, you can get away with it. But if you want an Iphone or some other ATT deal, you will have to get data.

    Your other option would be a dumbphone and a wifi only tablet.
  7. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor Guide

    Why would it be different? Its the same phone. Get your phone, connect to a wifi hotspot on start, input your google account. Head off to settings, turn off packet data. You're done. With packet data turned off, you'll never use the mobile internet connection your data plan uses. Your phone will just tell you no connection is available if you are not connected to wifi with packet data turned off. All you have to do is buy a device that isnt locked down and you can even use other sims on it. I know it works on the states because some people I know even got their phones from here and brought them to the states and use them with no data plan.
  8. zuben el genub

    zuben el genub Well-Known Member

    Do they use prepaid? Prepaid groups everything together in one flat rate. If the phones are European/European carriers and users do turn off packet data - use wifi only then it can be done.

    But the only American carrier with a bring your own phone - no data is currently T Mobile. ATT has a list of phones and IMEI that they consider "smart phones" You have to get data if you wish to use ATT as a carrier. Believe me, with this damn ATT/TMO merger I have been checking and reading ATT forums.

    I could use unlocked European phones with TMO and no data, but TMO would decide which "Smart phone" you had and give the appropriate data plan if you wanted data. The C6 was a 5800 with a keyboard, but TMO decided it was a TOL smartphone. You can use an unlocked phone wifi with Skype and search the web.
  9. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor Guide

    The OP said he would buy a no contract version. But he did not specify if he was on prepaid or not, so we cannot tell. As for the prerequisite data plan for the phone, I did not know that for ATT. Thats just stupid. What if the person wanted to have a smartphone but no data plan.
  10. zuben el genub

    zuben el genub Well-Known Member

    I've been complaining about that myself. I bought quite a few used phones including a BB Pearl Flip. Since I have the used phones and the user that would get it is voice only, I wouldn't need a BB plan for him. ATT says I would need a data plan to use that phone!

    Dumbphones don't seem to get better voice transmission or screens. Or the ability to run programs like the old Palm and Win CE. (You needed no data to run. Sync with PC)
    Some just want to carry around pics or videos of grandkids, and that is internal only, no data - (use SD card) and because of data restrictions, these folks can't have better screens or voice reception! I don't think that's fair.

    Even my unlocked European phones would need data. Daughter now has both, and I kept her line $5 per month voice and text. So she just sticks her TMO SIM in the phone when in the States.
  11. sohguanh

    sohguanh Well-Known Member

    Hi zuben el genub, I share the same view as you. Why must one have a data plan in order to use a smart-phone? It seems some service provider want to tie you down but luckily in my country, having a data plan is not mandatory. We can have our previous call and sms plan but still owning a smart-phone.

    Gist I want to say is data plan should not be a pre-requisite for one to own a smart-phone.
  12. jerofld

    jerofld Fixing stuff is not easy VIP Member

    Unfortunately all American carriers (with the exception of T-Mobile) do require that all smartphones, even unsubsidized/contract free phones, to have a data package. Like Zuben said, they can detect what model of phone you have and register it as needing a data package. Same thing happens when your contract expires, you can't choose to cancel your data package.

    Only T-Mo will allow any phone, even unlocked iPhones, to be on their networks without a data plan. A coworker of mine does that with an iPhone 3G. We laugh at him and call his iPhone and ePhone, because it is only half an iPhone if he's out of wifi range :p
  13. zuben el genub

    zuben el genub Well-Known Member

    ATT also told me that they cannot shut off data. They mean they WON'T.
    TMO can do it. If you don't have the right plan, they tell you you need to upgrade. If you don't and choose to stay no data, you are still good.

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